Book News: Hooray for Books!, Indeed

Hooray for Books! is a children’s bookstore in Alexandria, Va., to which I’ve never been.

I haven’t been to a bookstore in Old Town since Olsson’s closed and my husband and I went to our favorite pub, Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub, and their live music fun.  And it was always great to visit the Torpedo Factory.  In fact, my wedding dress was bought at Hannelore’s, which has the best seamstresses in the world, more than 10 years ago.

On Saturday, July 27 at 3:30 p.m., I’ll head down to Virginia with my small family in tow.  Local author Debbie Levy and Pennsylvania-based author Beth Kephart will talk about the fine line between truth and fiction as they discuss their latest books at Hooray for Books in Alexandria, Va.

Debbie Levy will showcase The Year of Goodbyes and Imperfect Spiral, which was just released, and Beth Kephart will talk about her books, Handling the Truth and Small Damages. The authors will read from each book, discuss its creation, and share their thoughts on workshopping the fine line between truth and fiction. For those interested in participating, Kephart says, “We each have an in-store exercise for those who’d like to try their hands at a bit of writing—and to hear our thoughts about their work.”

Levy’s The Year of Goodbyes is a WWII narrative poem based on an actual book created by her own mother, Jutta Salzberg, who lived in Hamburg, Germany, when the Nazi’s took power and began to ramp up their persecution of Jews in 1938. The book is powerful and a great testament to her mother’s memory, her own family’s past, and the hope generated by that remembering, I said in a recent review. Levy’s new book, Imperfect Spiral, is a young adult novel about how tragedy can affect the life of a babysitter, especially when the boy who’s killed is an undocumented immigrant.

Meanwhile, Kephart has had a string of publications in the last year, including Small Damages (new in paperback), Dr. Radway’s Sarsaparilla Resolvent, and Handling the Truth (due out in August). Small Damages is a young adult novel set in Spain about the adult decisions that children sometimes must make for themselves, especially when they find themselves in situations that are beyond their comprehension. Dr. Radway’s Sarsaparilla Resolvent, on the other hand, is an illustrated, historical fiction, young adult novel that brings to life old Philadelphia in a way that contrasts the opportunities and drawbacks of industrialization in the background as one family struggles to survive when their father is jailed. Kephart’s Handling the Truth, on the other hand, is a book for those interested in writing memoir, which will likely reach the heights of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird.

I’m ready for this event, are you? What events are on your agenda for the weekend?


  1. This does sound like an amazing event and I’m glad that you had such a wonderful time!

  2. Hope you had a great time at the event! I love indie bookstores.

  3. Have fun! I know how long you’ve been looking forward to it!

  4. Have fun! It sounds like it’ll be a great event. I can’t wait to hear about it. Nothing exciting going on at my house other than housework. I’d rather be with you guys. Lol.

  5. That sounds like a fabulous event!!